A Review of the CD
"'til you've seen mine"
by Tom House


"'til you've seen mine"
by Tom House

Copyright 1999 - CCR 003
The Catamount Company
P.O. Box 6368
Chicago, IL 60680
phone: (312) 829-5128
http://www.catamountco.com and
mailto:eric@catamountco.com

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
http://www.kevindmccarthy.com/music/index.html
send me an email message

Tom House is a country singer-songwriter. Make that a literate country singer-songwriter. Did I leave anything out? Yeah, forget the hooks and hats, Tom House doesn't do corporate whoring. He probably finds solace and has a well-deserved if not well-rewarded pride in the fact that he is nowhere near mainstream anything. But then again, one listen to his music and, if he's anything like the characters he presents, it's doubtful he's seeking consolation anywhere from anyone.

Intermittently raucous, edgy, defiant but always twangy, House paints raw portraits of fascinating people, some we identify with and others we detour around daily. All his subjects seem to be sporting tattoos of pain induced by inexplicable choices and twisted serendipity. Love--hard, impossible, incomplete, at best fair-to-middlin'--is laid out here in all its bruising glory. For these are people who either cannot run fast or far enough to escape their demons or who accept their bumps and bruises as a fait accompli and continue on with their self-destruction.

Cannily depicting the weary dynamics experienced far too often when drugs and alcohol consume someone and steal them away from a family, House sings in "Sister's Song":

Dispensing the thoughts and feelings of a woman who, in a moment of human frailty, questions and then compromises on what she really wants and needs, House opens "The Cold Hard Curve Of A Question Mark," with: Near closing, he sings: "Driving Round Houston" provides an unvarnished jolt of brutal personal honesty as the male in the song proclaims his creed. House sings: The rollicking "Long Hard Drinking" is the open storybook of a liquor-worshipper who has come terms with his reality. House sings: Continuing on in the liquor and losers theme, an even rawer cut is "Elmer Smith." House returns with: Describing how Smith, after drinking, fell asleep while smoking one night and caused his horrendous tragedy, House continues: If "Down In The Hole" doesn't get you running for some serious anti-depressants, consider yourself for the role of the Tin Woodman in "The Wizard Of Oz." House, in the vein of country blues, tells a woeful tale of a downward spiral triggered by the loss of a woman. He also tosses a few barbs at today's reigning country music icons: Yeah, you could say House covers familiar territory. But how he covers it is the difference. Maybe it all comes down to this one simple question: where in the spectrum of music would Hank Williams bunk? Tom House territory, I do believe. Enough said.

House, on guitar and vocals, is backed by Scott Chase on percussion; Tommy Goldsmith on mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars and background vocals; Tomi Lunsford on background vocals; Pat McLaughlin on mandolin, electric and acoustic guitars and background vocals; Sam Bush on fiddle; John Hedgecoth on jug and mandocello; David Olney on harmonica and background vocals; Paul Niehaus on steel guitar; Fats Kaplan on squeezebox; Steve Runkle on background vocals; Larry Reynolds on background vocals; and Tracy Nelson on background voclas.

Track List:

All songs written by Tom House.


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